I Hit a Horse

Yes, really. I hit a horse. While I was driving home from school last Wednesday night, somewhere within the depths of the jungle was someone’s pet horse, roaming free and unsuspecting of the road it would soon encounter. Through the palm trees, bamboo, and thick vegetation, in the pitch-black of night, the horse wandered onto an unlit road with no shoulders and barely enough room for two cars to squeeze by each other. This road’s name is PR-114 and it’s the road that takes me to and from school. It contains bumps, potholes, eternal puddles, and apparently, horses. I was going no faster than 35 mph, and this horse seemingly came out of nowhere as it suddenly took its first steps onto 114, about 20 feet away from my car. It startled me and I slammed the brakes, which allowed me to slow down just enough that I didn’t hit the horse that hard, and I only got its front. The person who had been riding my tail the whole time honked furiously at me for slamming on my brakes. Well, excuse me for trying not to hit an animal that’s bigger than my car.

I couldn’t stop, as there were cars behind me and no shoulder whatsoever (the vegetation threatens to swallow up this road). I looked in my rear-view mirror and the horse was still standing, so I figured it was probably alright. It had a harness and clearly was someone’s pet, and I hoped that its owner would see sooner rather than later that the horse had been injured (if, in fact, the horse really did get hurt at all) and tend to it. My car was left with a nice-sized dent in the front.

I hit a horse. This is Puerto Rico.

The previous week, I’d had my first severely sore throat since a year ago. Those of you who followed my blog when I lived in Korea will know that I suffered from a chronic sore throat for about a year. The fact that I went almost a whole year without a sore throat is HUGE. So, two Thursdays ago, I woke up with extreme pain in my throat, dizziness, and a fever. I cancelled all 9 of my lessons that day; there was no way I was going to be able to talk all day long. I ended up sleeping most of the day and was able to teach on Friday. Saturday, the pain had suffused only slightly despite my best efforts to drink fluids, especially tea with honey and lemon: the age-old home remedy for a sore throat. Such rememdies temporarily soothed my throat, but of course, didn’t heal it – I would have to let it run its course. Or so I thought! Glenn had bought pure coconut water at the store, and it was all we had left to drink. I drank a glass of it. 5 minutes later, my throat was healed. No joke. I not only felt better instantly, I was better instantly! I have felt great since that moment. Now, I drink coconut water every day.

I’ve got my daily routine down to a science: I wake up at 5:30am, drink a glass of water to wake myself up, and plan my lessons for the day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my first lesson is at 6am. The other days, it’s at 8am (9:30am on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays). I teach my lessons, sometimes get a 15-minute break here and there, sometimes not. If I have time between classes, I try to eat something so that I’m not starving. I finish teaching at 4:30pm and spend another 1-2 hours grading my students’ homework and sending my daily report to my managers. Usually, around 6pm, I begin my homework. I’ve had an enormous load of work the past couple of weeks, and haven’t gone to the gym AT ALL. I had a big presentation in class last Wednesday (yes, the same night I hit the horse), and I had spent a lot of time preparing for it. It went well, and now I’ll have a tiny bit more of free time to (hopefully) re-establish my gym routine. I take a break from homework around 9pm for dinner, eat, and then go to bed at 10-10:30pm. I only have 4 lessons on Saturdays and 3 on Sundays, so I’m able to get a lot of homework done on the weekends.

This weekend, we’re in Lajas. Glenn decided that I’ve been working pretty hard (no kidding?!) and has treated me to a weekend getaway at La Parguera in Lajas. We’re staying at a really nice hotel right in the downtown, within walking distance from all of the shops and restaurants (and is literally right on the water!). It’s on the southern coast of the island, only 40 minutes from Mayagüez. However, it took us an hour and a half to get here Friday night since the roads weren’t clearly marked and the Puerto Rican maps are practically useless. I believe I’ve already ranted about the lack of signage and addresses in Puerto Rico in a previous post, so I’ll spare you this time.

It’s Saturday morning and I’m in our hotel room at Villa Parguera in Lajas. Glenn left around 7am to go a CPR training back in Mayagüez that he forgot about until yesterday (typical), so I’ve been catching up on some work and in 10 minutes I have to teach my first lesson for the day. I’ll finish at 2pm and Glenn will be back by then. We don’t have anything in particular planned, but it’s beautiful here and we will probably walk around and take pictures. 🙂

Time to work. I’m so glad that I teach online!

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2 Responses to I Hit a Horse

  1. Laura says:

    That is truly horrible and nerve wrecking. I’m glad you (and the horse) are ok.
    I just stumbled upon your blog today and we are in the same boat! My family just moved to Mayaguez in August as well and I have a blog about it too: PolarRico.com
    If you guys are interested in meeting up or coming over for dinner sometime just let me know. We’d love to meet more people. We’ve been to your neck of the woods many times to go out to eat. We live near the Denny’s off Hwy 2 (landmarks, right? haha)
    -Laura

    • Hey Laura, it’s nice to know there are other gringos in Mayaguez! I checked out your blog (love it!) but I couldn’t figure out a way to follow it (?). Anyway, it would be nice to get together sometime. I don’t want to give out my contact info publicly like this, but if you send me a message through my contact forum, it’ll go straight to my email and then we can communicate that way. 🙂
      Oh, and we love Denny’s, which means we know where you live. 😉
      Rachel

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